Personal vs. logo Twitter accounts: Must they be mutually exclusive?

A debate several years ago, during blogging’s heyday, centered on the wisdom of introducing “character blogs.” These aren’t fake blogs. They’re very transparent in their use of a fictional character as the blogger. Some experts defended the practice while others insisted that it could never be a good idea. I fell somewhere in the middle, advising against them in nearly all instances but acknowledging there might be a time when they could work.

An example would be Dwight Schrute’s blog. Schrute is the character played by Rainn Wilson on “The Office” (a show I don’t watch, by the way). Posts are written in character. None of the readers… Read More »

About that Skittles site? Let’s all take a deep breath…

A couple of days have gone by since Mars, Inc.‘s Skittles brand tossed out its website and replaced it with links to various social media properties. So frenetic was the commentary that I decided to stay out of it other than a mention on Monday’s episode of For Immediate Release. But I just can’t keep my lip buttoned any longer.

Most of the declarations that the experiment launched by Agency.com has failed are based on the flood of obscene, racist, and otherwise tasteless tweets Twittered by the adolescent set as soon as they learned that their juvenile output could be seen on the Skittles website. These messages run counter to the… Read More »

Why MotrinMoms matters

Since the whirlwind of activity that resulted in McNeil Laboratories pulling a Motrin ad campaign and issuing an apology, a chorus of naysaying has emerged that downplays the significance of the events. Some of these opinions make good points while others are just downright silly. Ultimately, though, what occurred between the brand and the mommy bloggers who launched the offensive against it is significant.

Shel Holtz

The arguments against it fall into four camps:

The mommy bloggers who were offended were dopes who are unable to laugh at themselves.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t get why some people were offended. Other people probably don’t… Read More »

Speakers & Speeches: Employees Are the Brand - April 23, 2008

Content summary: Shel Holtz presents a breakout session on the blurring lines between internal and external communications at the Society for New Communications Research New Communications Forum in Santa Rosa, California, on April 23, 2008. The session delves into internal communications practices that prepare employees to represent the company in their social media activities.

download For Immediate Release podcast

Download the file here (MP3, 29.2Mb, 1:04). Subscribe to the Speakers & Speeches RSS feed to get these and future podcasts automatically. For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a podcatcher such as the free Juice… Read More »

Your Blog: the latest from Dell

Dell, the poster child for a big company embracing social media, has launched a new blog. Dell’s chief blogger, Lionel Menchaca, announced “Your Blog” on Direct2Dell, the customer service-focused blog launched during some of the company’s darkest days.

“YourBlog” will focus on the uses to which people put their computers. Lionel thinks of it as “a little bit Community + Lifehacker + ReadWriteWeb + Gamespy.” Dell employees will contribute to the blog, which features an idea submission field: The blog will steer toward topics about which people want to read.

So far, only an inaugural post with two paltry comments appears on the blog.… Read More »

Blame the law, not the lawyers

Getting a degree in journalism back in the mid-1970s, when I got mine, required a class in journalism law. I suspect this is still true, but I wonder if a parallel class is required for students in PR, marketing, and communications majors. Based on the speed with which people working in these disciplines jump on lawyers, I would guess not.

I was as amazed as everybody else when I read that Hasbro (representing US distribution) and Mattel (which owns international rights) issued a cease-and-desist to the group behind Scrabulous, a Facebook app that emulates the board game, Scrabble. (I’m one of the more than 600,000 people who use the… Read More »

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